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An Introduction to Game Theory
An introduction to game theory
Game Theory: Strategic Form Games
Exercise 4-1. The Prisoner's Dilemma in International Politics

The prisoner's dilemma fits any situation in which the following conditions are met:

  • two actors must make simultaneous decisions (or make a decision without knowing what the opponent will do or has done already),
  • defection always dominates cooperation, and
  • the preference ordering for both players is DC > CC > DD > CD.

We must meet all three conditions to call the game prisoner's dilemma; if the first two conditions are met but the preference ordering is different for each player, or the same for both players but different from the one here, it becomes a different strategic form game with different implications (see below). The ...

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